Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Characteristics of Sports Betters in an Epidemiological Study

Session Title

Session 3-4-A: Problem Gambling Behaviors and Prevention

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

30-5-2019 3:30 PM

End Date

30-5-2019 4:55 PM

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Social Work

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The potential impact of the recent legalization of sports wagering in the U.S. on rates of problem gambling is unknown, particularly in light of interactive media. The current study examines the self-reported behavior of 332 sports betters in a representative sample of 2,213 participants (>18 years) in a statewide study on gambling. Results of univariate analyses and multiple regression modeling indicated: More than 97% of sports betters also bet on other forms of gambling, including daily fantasy sports (58%). Compared to other gamblers, those who bet on sports were more likely to be younger, male, undereducated (less than high school) and to report a physical limitation or disability. In addition, sports betters were more likely to smoke, binge drink, use illegal drugs, report a mental health problem in the past year and to seriously have contemplated suicide. Unlike a majority of other gamblers, sports betters gambled both online and in land-based venues; preferred activities were lottery, poker, live casino tables games, daily fantasy sports, and horse track betting. Finally, sports betters in the study were significantly more likely to score as moderate or high risk problem gamblers on the PGSI than other gamblers in the study.

IMPLICATIONS:

States are legalizing sports wagering without investigating the potential impacts on underage youth or young adults, who may subvert regulatory age limitations on interactive platforms. Our findings suggest these effects should be a serious concern. Suggestions for harm reduction, prevention, and education strategies targeting this group will be discussed.

Keywords

Sports betting/wagering, gambling, problem gambling, comorbidity, online gambling

Author Bio

Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D. is Professor and Director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University. Her research areas include the etiology and treatment of problem gambling, play patterns of online gamblers and sports wagerers, gaming regulation and policy, interactive forms of Internet gaming and gambling, and forensic issues in problem gambling.

Kyle R. Caler, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Social Work at Sacramento State University. His research focuses on civic engagement of individuals with serious mental illness, decision-making of direct support staff for people with disabilities, mental health and addiction, and problem gambling and gambling disorder.

Funding Sources

This work was funded by a grant from the Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services of New Jersey.

Competing Interests

Both authors affirm they have no financial or non-financial competing interests with this project over the last three years.

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May 30th, 3:30 PM May 30th, 4:55 PM

Characteristics of Sports Betters in an Epidemiological Study

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

ABSTRACT

The potential impact of the recent legalization of sports wagering in the U.S. on rates of problem gambling is unknown, particularly in light of interactive media. The current study examines the self-reported behavior of 332 sports betters in a representative sample of 2,213 participants (>18 years) in a statewide study on gambling. Results of univariate analyses and multiple regression modeling indicated: More than 97% of sports betters also bet on other forms of gambling, including daily fantasy sports (58%). Compared to other gamblers, those who bet on sports were more likely to be younger, male, undereducated (less than high school) and to report a physical limitation or disability. In addition, sports betters were more likely to smoke, binge drink, use illegal drugs, report a mental health problem in the past year and to seriously have contemplated suicide. Unlike a majority of other gamblers, sports betters gambled both online and in land-based venues; preferred activities were lottery, poker, live casino tables games, daily fantasy sports, and horse track betting. Finally, sports betters in the study were significantly more likely to score as moderate or high risk problem gamblers on the PGSI than other gamblers in the study.

IMPLICATIONS:

States are legalizing sports wagering without investigating the potential impacts on underage youth or young adults, who may subvert regulatory age limitations on interactive platforms. Our findings suggest these effects should be a serious concern. Suggestions for harm reduction, prevention, and education strategies targeting this group will be discussed.